Feb 27 2013
David Cameron has said his Government will go "further and faster" in efforts to repair the nation's finances in response to the loss of the UK's prized AAA credit rating.
The Prime Minister said the decision by rating agency Moody's was a warning to politicians who believed the country could "walk away" from addressing the nation's debt problems.
But at Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Ed Miliband said the loss of AAA status meant Mr Cameron had failed the economic test he had set himself.
"It's not just our credit rating that's been downgraded, we have a downgraded Government, a downgraded Chancellor and a downgraded Prime Minister," Mr Miliband said.
But the Prime Minister compared the Labour leader to former premier Gordon Brown, saying all he could offer was increased borrowing and debt. He said it was Mr Miliban's policy "to address excessive borrowing by borrowing more."
The Prime Minister said Moody's, which lowered the UK's rating by one notch to AA1, had warned of further downgrades if there was "reduced political commitment to fiscal consolidation".
Mr Miliband said Chancellor George Osborne had said the loss of AAA would be a "humiliation" and challenged Mr Cameron to accept he had failed his self-imposed test.
Mr Cameron told the Labour leader: "I'm not arguing that the rating agency doesn't matter, that's your argument. Your argument is the rating agency doesn't matter, the answer to debt is to borrow more and not to take any responsibility for the mess you left."
Mr Cameron said Canada and Germany had maintained their AAA ratings because they "fixed the roof when the sun was shining".
The Labour leader refused to respond to Mr Cameron's comments about Labour's plans, telling the Prime Minister: "Any time he wants to swap places I will happily answer the questions."